Law and Atonement

By Joe Boot / May 19, 2013

Series Hebrews and the High Priesthood

Context Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic Law

Scripture Hebrews 8:6-13

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The Spirit leads us to love and to know His law and to obey it. The law is the tool of liberty and victory to see His work and purposes established.

Scripture: Hebrews 8:6-13

Sermon Notes:

  1. The Holy Spirit given in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost (and the earlier model of a civil Pentecost in Num. 11:25) signify God’s ordination of His new humanity commissioned to be God’s kingdom people, governing the earth in His name.  
  2. The ascension of Christ is likewise associated with the giving of the Spirit (Psalm 68:18).
  3. There is no abiding hope in the earthly temple; Christ is the high priest of the heavenly tabernacle, establishing the new covenant which lasts forever.
  4. Christ mediates the new covenant in terms of his blood and law.
  5. Christ is superior to the angels, Moses, the prophets and the high priesthood of Aaron; and He mediates a better covenant based on better promises.
  6. The covenant with Moses was not in its final form.  But God is unchanging in His character and nature, and His law does not change; the new covenant involves a change a) in priesthood, from Aaronic to Melchizedekian, b) in the place in which the law resides – from the ark to our hearts – and c) in the atonement which is not typical, but actual, and d) In that it is made with a new people.  
  7. The covenant is totally the work of God and we only receive and enjoy its benefits.  When God makes a covenant it is made between a superior and inferiors; it is out of His pure grace that He makes this merciful covenant.
  8. This new covenant is final and irrevocable; it is the last testament. There is no other possible remedy for sin, no other access to God.
  9. The covenant of grace was progressively expanded throughout the Old Testament and we now have the final version.
  10. The new covenant surpasses the old in power, finality and glory.
  11. The making of a covenant is always associated with a law, binding agreement to that law, and the shedding of blood setting forth the sanctions for violation of the covenant.
  12. The Law was already given by God through Moses, and Christ validated it and expounded it (Matt. 5:17-25).
  13. The blood of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, the great high priest, now seals the covenant.
  14. Because Israel had broken covenant, the new covenant was made with a new people, the church of the living God made up of Jews and Gentiles (Romans 11:15ff).
  15. God’s law is given to us, we are to understand it with our minds, and it is written on our hearts.
  16. There were two copies of the tablets of stone, inscribed by God’s finger: one for the people and one for God.
  17. Our hearts are the new ark of God containing God’s law.
  18. The Spirit enables us to understand, to desire, and to delight in obeying God’s law.
  19. If we reject Christ as high priest, we reject His law and His atonement, and His power for the transformation of the earth.
  20. As people are inwardly transformed, sin and crime will diminish.
  21. We are ministers of the new covenant and we are called to publish the law to all creation (Matthew 28).
  22. The law is seen as the enemy by antinomians.  We are all antinomian by nature; we are all battling our old sin nature.
  23. God gave us new hearts so that we might love to do His statutes (Ezekiel 11:19-20).
  24. We are to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and His law upon our hearts.  We are to walk in obedience to the law of God, as the way of life.  
  25. The Spirit leads us to love and to know His law and to obey it.
  26. The law is the tool of liberty and victory to see His work and purposes established.

Application Questions:

  1. What is the significance of the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost?
  2. Compare and contrast features of the old and new administrations of God’s covenant with His people.
  3. Do we view the law as David did in Psalm 119?
  4. Do we see walking in the law as our liberty and our delight?
  5. Do we see the law of God as a restriction or limitation?
  6. If we are hostile to the law of God, do we have the Spirit?
  7. Do we study the law of God to know and love it better?
  8. How can we increase understanding and delight in God’s law?

Sermon Notes